Exploring and Exceeding E-Government Expectations: Part 1
Survey results reflect constituents’ heightening expectations of e-government services — expectations that GovPilot is prepared to surpass.
For the vast array of products we provide, GovPilot’s business model is really quite simple. We serve local government, local government serves constituents and for this reason, we build the GovPilot platform to serve both.
From reading client reviews to attending town hall meetings, our team is forever gathering information on the wants, needs and expectations of both sectors.Two recent, survey-supported studies show that we aren’t alone in our research.
One survey looks at e-government from the constituent’s point-of-view, while the other considers the nascent digital services landscape from government’s perspective. GovPilot analyzes the findings of these sister studies in our two-part blog post, “Exploring and Exceeding E-Government Expectations”. Part 1 delves into citizens’ satisfaction with e-government services.
In 2014, technology consulting titan, Accenture, conducted a survey to gauge average Americans’ opinions of the burgeoning e-government scene. Whereas many surveyed had visited their county or municipal website, use of such services was low and expectations were even lower. Few could imagine the wide selection of digital tools that would soon be at local government’s disposal.
Fast forward to 2016. Accenture posed the same questions to the same demographic, but this follow-up survey yielded drastically different findings. Published last week, the findings reveal an interesting correlation: a rapid rise in the wealth and quality of government digital services matched a rapid rise in constituent expectations. As the title implies, “Exploring and Exceeding E-Government Expectations: Part 1” discusses these rising standards and the ways in which GovPilot has evolved to meet them.
Anyone who’s watched an episode of MTV’s Catfish has seen how disappointing it can be when reality doesn’t live up to expectations. Fortunately, Accenture’s 2016 survey finds that citizens are growing increasingly fond of government’s increasingly sophisticated digitization efforts. Indeed, 58 percent of citizens report satisfaction with digital services from their governments — more than double the 27 percent satisfaction rate Accenture reported two years earlier.
Accenture Strategy Lead for State and Local Government Consulting, Peter Hutchinson, acknowledges that e-government has come a long way in a short amount of time, but admits that there is more work to be done.
“Government has made major headway in satisfying citizen expectations for digital services, and demands and opportunities to do better keep growing.With around 40 percent of citizens remaining unsatisfied with digital government, and clear evidence that digital services are generally well-received when implemented, the public sector must continue expanding the scope and increasing the quality of its digital capabilities.”
Accenture’s poll points to several areas that local government should focus on developing in the coming years. One such area is smartphone compatibility. More than four in 10 respondents (44 percent) in the most recent survey place priority on smartphone access to digital government services. Two years ago, only 28 percent of respondents were concerned with smartphone-enabled civic participation.
These findings bolster GovPilot’s oft-repeated prediction that constituents’ desire to access government services via smartphone will grow as Android and iPhone replace Mac and PC as the average American’s preferred portal to the Internet. Luckily, GovPilot’s namesake platform offers complete mobile compatibility. Any GovPilot feature accessible from the desktop version of a client’s site — geographic information system (GIS) map, digital form — is fully accessible from the mobile version.
The GovPilot platform can be used with virtually any mobile device as well as our very own mobile app, GovAlert. Available for free download for both Apple and Android smartphones, the GovAlert app empowers residents to report non-emergencies to the appropriate local government official in the time it takes to send a text message.
GovAlert is not the first local government app, but it is a game changer. Whereas individual state, county and city governments offer civic engagement apps, they are only accessible to residents. GovAlert is the first out-of-the-box app that can be adopted by any local administration in the United States and used to full effect by every citizen.
In addition to mobile accessibility, survey participants expressed a desire for more frequent interaction with local government. 40 percent would like to see digital government services integrate with social media, but GovPilot has a more personalized solution. Our GIS map boasts a MailMerge feature that allows government officials to send a custom message via traditional mail or email to residents in a designated area.
Accenture’s survey results reflect constituents’ growing comfort with and heightening expectations of e-government services — expectations that GovPilot is prepared to surpass. Join us next week, when we dissect the findings of a study inspired by Accenture’s.